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Google Calendar Now Has An ‘Out of Office’ Option


Getting the balance right between work and the other things in life can be tricky. Juggling work with family and studying, working in the community, or making time to meet up with friends can be considered difficult and time demanding.

Google Calendar is getting a couple of additions that will hopefully make it easier to delineate when your work time ends and your personal time begins: soon, G Suite users will be able to set both their normal work hours as well as mark when they’re out of the office.

Out of office shows up as a new event type when creating an event in your calendar on desktop. Event invitations for the selected range will automatically be declined, and you have the option to add a custom refusal message (“I’m on vacation,” or whatever). The “Out of Office” event type. When you select this, the event will have a different appearance on your calendar so co-workers and supervisors can more easily see when you’ll be unavailable.

Google Calendar can now infer users’ working hours based on their timezone and past scheduling patterns. Users may see a prompt asking them to set the working hours, and they will be able to customise them to their needs.

However, Any meeting invitations you receive that take place during times your out of the office will automatically be declined. Google will initially try to guess when you’re usually at work, but you’re able to adjust the hours manually, too.

Going forward, Google Calendar will automatically select the Out of Office event type based on what you enter for the title. Along with this, Google Calendar will give you more control over your work schedule. You could previously create one set of hours for your working week, but soon you’ll be able to customise these for each day.

The updates come as part of the “digital well-being” movement that’s sweeping around the tech industries— technology has over time introduced many of the distractions that it’s now seeking to course-correct — but the benefits of scheduling an “out of office” timeframe and working hours may have far-reaching effects.

These features are rolling out for all G Suite users and should become available over the next two weeks.

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